The Navy Museum Blog

Updates, news and images from the Royal New Zealand Navy Museum


April 27, 2016
The piupiu was gifted to Captain Lionel Halsey RN Commanding Officer of the battleship HMS NEW ZEALAND during the ships visit to New Zealand in 1913. The provenance, and in particular the gifting iwi of the piupiu, cannot, at this stage, be substantiated. Halsey himself wrote only that the piupiu was presented “by a Maori […]
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dazzle ships »

March 21, 2016
A brief history of Dazzle Dazzle paint was developed by the artist Norman Wilkinson and used on ships in the First and Second World Wars to confuse the eyes of the enemy. Dazzle isn’t camouflage: it was realised very early on that it would be impossible to give a ship one paint scheme that would […]
Filed under: Uncategorized

HMNZ Ships Moa and Kiwi »

January 29, 2016
Background Three small Bird class corvettes ordered in 1939, HMNZS Moa, Tui, and Kiwi were built by Henry Robb Ltd., of Leith, Scotland between 1940 and 1941. This class was based on the design of an experimental Royal Navy minesweeping trawler were the first new ships to enter service with the Royal New Zealand Navy, […]
Filed under: Uncategorized


January 19, 2016
HMS Leander was built in His Majesty’s Dockyard Devonport, England, being the name ship for a class of light cruisers. Leander was laid down on 8 September 1930, launched on 24 September 1931 and commissioned into the Royal Navy on 23 March 1933. The ship was acquired by New Zealand, on loan; along with a […]
Filed under: Uncategorized

Calliope Dock »

January 18, 2016
The dry dock, along with the pump house, are two of the oldest and most significant maritime related structures in New Zealand. Its construction was one of the largest and most difficult engineering works undertaken in New Zealand during the 19th century. In May 1881 the Auckland Harbour Board (AHB) voted in favour of Devonport. […]
Filed under: Uncategorized

Korea and the RNZN »

January 7, 2016
The Korean War was possibly the first link between the Royal New Zealand Navy and Korea. In June 1950 Stalin give Kim Ill Sung permission to invade the south counting the fact he did not think the UN would intervene. It was a miscalculation. Later on Stalin pushed China into entering the war so that […]
Filed under: Uncategorized

Semaphore »

December 29, 2015
Semaphore was invented by Rev Lord George Murray on 1 January 1796. Semaphore is the telegraphy system conveying information at a distance by using visual signals with hand held flags, rods, disks, paddles and occasionally bare or gloved hands. Semaphores were adopted and widely used in the maritime world in the 19th century. The current […]
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Loss of HMS Neptune »

December 18, 2015
ORBAT Force K: HMS Neptune ­– Leander-class cruiser [Mined 19/12/1941] HMS Aurora ­- cruiser [Paid off 1948] HMS Penelope – cruiser [Sunk 18/2/1944] ­HMS Kandahar – K-class destroyer [Sunk by torpedo from HMS Jaguar 20/12/1941] HMS Lance – L-class destroyer [Sunk 9/4/1942] HMS Lively – L-class destroyer [Sunk 11/5/1942] HMS Havock – H-class destroyer [Wrecked […]
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Attack on Pearl Harbor – 7 December 1941 »

December 7, 2015
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1941:  Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. USS West Virginia aflame. Disregarding the dangerous possibilities of explosions, United States sailors man their boats at the side of the burning battleship, USS West Virginia, to better fight the flames started by Japanese torpedoes and bombs. Note the national colors flying against the smoke-blackened sky  (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
On Sunday, December 7th, 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise attack against the U.S. Forces stationed at Pearl Harbor , Hawaii By planning this attack on a Sunday, the Japanese commander Admiral Nagumo, hoped to catch the entire fleet in port. As luck would have it, the Aircraft Carriers and one of the Battleships were […]
Filed under: Commentary

ANZAC DAY: The New Zealand Story—Book Review »

July 1, 2014
By Philippa Werry As we approach the 100th anniversary of the battle of Gallipoli and look at to the world today there is a clear link between New Zealand’s First World War contribution and the conception of an independent New Zealand that stands up for what it believes in. Although occurring almost a hundred years […]
Filed under: Book Reviews
Older Posts »